Going to university can be a test for anyone, fresh, or not-so-fresh from school. Students are not only expected to adapt to independent study and increased reading loads, but they also have to learn as soon as possible how to “do” the kind of academic writing and academic talk their given field demands. And for those students with dyslexia, this can be particularly challenging.
Dyslexic students are normally no different to their non-dyslexic peers in their understanding of their academic subject, but dyslexia can make things like reading course books, writing essays and remembering lecture points harder to do. And there can also be difficulties for dyslexic students in getting their words and ideas across in seminars and tutorials.
These things are hard partly because of specific cognitive difficulties with processing particular kinds of information, and partly because of the way schools and universities tend to structure and assess learning – through non-interactive lectures and timed, written examination. And because there is a lot of disagreement about what dyslexia actually means in terms of cognitive function, it can also be difficult to agree on what to do about it, in practice.